Baby … I didn’t give you my consent.
That’s the concern for Cleveland Star 102 listeners in the US who have voted to ban classic Christmas song ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ from the airwaves this year over fears the lyrics portray a man trying to pressure a woman into a situation she clearly wants to escape.
The beloved song has become a holiday favourite over the years thanks to dozens of iconic covers by the likes of Dean Martin, Michael Buble, Dolly Parton and plenty more, but in the #MeToo era the lyrics have led some people to reconsider their stance on the tune.
The call and answer duet is about a man trying to convince a beautiful woman to stay and have one more drink with him.
One verse goes:
The neighbours might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s cold outside
Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
Cleveland Star 102 employee Glenn Anderson said the station had decided to stop playing the song after a listener poll on its website asked people if they thought the song was inappropriate.
“I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad … until I read them,” Anderson wrote on the station’s website.
“Now, I do realize [sic] that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong. The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
The station allows listeners to vote for songs on its Christmas playlist each year. The poll wasn’t available on the station’s website at the time of publishing, however a poll on their Facebook page showed 95 per cent of voters wanted the song played, while only 5 per cent said it was inappropriate.
The song was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, who penned it as a Christmas duet for him and his wife to sing at their holiday parties. He later sold the tune to movie studio MGM and it was featured in the 1949 romantic comedy Neptune’s Daughter.
At the time, the lyrics were viewed as a playful back-and-forth between man and woman, but in today’s context of the #MeToo movement, it appears its taken on a whole new meaning for many people that’s just too hard to stomach.